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Tag archives for Valerie C. Clark

Science and Magic From a Giant Amazon Treefrog

Ancient traditions and modern science team up to utilize frogs for hunting magic and biological research without causing them harm.

Frogs are Leaping, Bugs are Dancing in Ireland’s Bogs

Biologist Valerie C. Clark is a regular correspondent. Currently a candidate for a PhD at Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland, she is well known to us here at National Geographic headquarters, Washington, D.C., as a cheerleader for frogs. She sent this dispatch from Northern Ireland. By Valerie C. Clark Belfast, Northern Ireland–After two years of doctoral studies in…

Does Your B.O. Attract Mosquitoes?

“These mosquitoes really love me! Why aren’t they biting you?” The reason why pests bother you, but not the person sitting next to you—or vice versa—probably comes down to a matter of scent. Years ago, chemical ecologists at Rothamsted Research developed pyrethroid insecticides from a natural lead compound, pyrethrum, which is produced by chrysanthemum flowers.…

Guyana Frog Travelogue, Part 2

In my last post, I began the story of my trip up Guyana‘s Wokomung Massif to the summit of Mt. Kopinang in search of new frog species. In particular, I was on the hunt for frogs with funky odors that repel would-be predators. I literally had my eye on the one above, a red and…

Guyana Frog Travelogue

Last time I posted, I promised stories from my trip to Guyana in July 2007. I was on a quest for some of the country’s exotic (and toxic!) frogs with collaborator Bruce Means, Executive Director of the Coastal Plains Institute and an adjunct professor at Florida State University. Tropical rainforest covers more than 80 percent—80…

Don’t Rake This Leaf

Lately, National Geographic has helped fund my research on toxic frogs in Madagascar‘s Ranomafana National Park. On a prior trip to that park, I encountered several snazzy reptiles to admire, including the aptly-named leaf tailed gecko, Uroplatus phantasticus, pictured above. No, that brown thing in the foreground isn’t a leaf—that’s really the gecko’s tail! This…

Researcher Licks Poison Frogs in Pursuit of Science

Valerie Clark has a quick way to determine whether a frog is toxic or not. She licks them. If it is not dangerous it is certainly nasty. “I don’t recommend this,” Clark told National Geographic News earlier this year. “If you lick the wrong frog it can be very bad.” (Read the story.) Clark studies…